Tide turning in police hiring and departures, report explains

 May 24, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

For several years now, leftist activists across America have condemned police, individually and in general, because of the egregious case involving George Floyd in Minnesota.

The oft-convicted criminal died while a police officer held him down with a knee on his neck, a case that resulted in convictions for several officers and a massive payout from the city to Floyd's family.

That episode triggered leftist attacks on police officers, police cars, police stations, and more, and even resulted in various "defund police" campaigns.

Not surprisingly, officers retired in large numbers, and simply left their departments, and there weren't many applying to replace them.

That might now have turned a corner, according to a new column reporting on the issue.

The piece by lawyer John Klar cites a study from the Police Executive Research Forum that confirmed there's been an "increase" in hiring during 2023, as well as a "drop" in police retirements and resignations.

"This is encouraging news for law and order following an exodus of experienced officers following the controversial death of George Floyd in 2020 and the ensuing BLM fad. Bold attacks on police, initiatives to defund departments, and reduced personnel from resignations and lower applications created a vicious cycle of demoralization that has not fully abated – some inner-city departments still struggle with recruitment despite six-figure starting salaries," he pointed out.

The issue likely is important to voters facing the 2024 presidential balloting, he noted.

"A recent poll by the Pew Research Center suggests the issue of law enforcement may feature highly in 2024 election races, as 58% of US adults say 'reducing crime should be a top priority for the president and Congress to address this year,' up from 47% at the beginning of the Biden presidency in 2021."

He said several circumstances have been getting attention, from "brazen assaults by illegal immigrants" to "squatting, shoplifting and carjacking."

He said the study revealed more new officers hired in 2023 than in any of the previous four years.

He reported, "It is understandable that police officers would resign or retire, and that recruits may hesitate to serve on the streets. The hateful attacks against U.S. police officers extend beyond mere shaming or political criticism – murders of police officers rose nearly 60% in 2021, a number that included numerous targeted assassinations. A total of 346 officers were shot in 271 separate incidents, according to the Fraternal Order of Police, and 103 of those shootings were 'ambush-style attacks.' The number dipped slightly in 2022 to 331 but then rose again to 378 in 2023. Surely such statistics motivate police officers and their loved ones to consider alternative professions."

And he noted many of those jurisdictions that jumped into the "defund" ideology now are working to restore public safety, which deteriorated under the anti-cop campaigns.

He suggested the problems now rest with leftist prosecutors who drop legitimate criminal charges, let criminals out on little or no bail, and simply don't prosecute winnable cases.

Klar explained, "Prosecutors in many roiling inner cities refuse to pursue sentencing enhancements for repeat offenses, aggravated circumstances, or gang affiliation. This ensures more violent, mentally ill, or criminally organized defendants will 'slip through the cracks' of lax prosecutorial worldviews and be released to commit more crimes, including targeted murders of on-duty police officers."

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